Contemporary art has left architecture with two dominant museum typologies: the white box gallery, and the flexible, free flow museum. Our proposal for the Wien Museum NEU mixes these two typologies and stacks them, creating a new type in between: the Open Museum.

This Open Museum is a public space that is an extension of the Karlsplatz and acts as an entirely publicly accessible institution: the general audience can see exhibited art works in the voids and engage in events without purchasing a ticket.

To this end, the current Wien Museum is enlarged with a building that comprises of 4 main volumes: 3 gallery spaces that support one large exhibition space. These galleries and museum rooms can be used and accessed separately, creating flexibility in the operations and programming of the Museum. Under these four volumes sits the Open Museum, with its open accessibility from the Karlsplatz.

The architecture of the Museum is clear and well organized but steers away from the permanent hunt for icons and landmarks that echo our zeitgeist. Through this strategy, the Museum will fit the historical, layered, and complex context of the Karlsplatz and its surroundings.

In the same line of thought, the Winterthur building will be replaced for a Miesian (office) volume with a square footprint, which leverages the current fragmented build up of the east side of the Karlsplatz, and creates more ‘room’ for the Karlskirche.
On the side of the Mattiellistrasse, the New Winterthur building will have two elegant triangular entrance plazas – a rare and therefor valuable feat in Vienna’s inner city.

Opposite the New Winterthur building, the café and shop of the Museum are strategically positioned on the southwest side of the Wien Museum NEU, providing for sunny afternoon beers on the Karlsplatz…

The heart of the Open Museum is its central staircase, which connects the temporary exhibition space in the basement with the galleries on the first floor and doubles as a meeting point, public exhibition space and lecture hall – a true Urban Living Room!

The central staircase gives access to the basement, which houses the shop and the temporary exhibition. Courtyards bring light into the exhibition rooms, and form the public exhibition spaces for the Open Museum. The exhibition rooms are organized in a loop to allow for a free flow typology.

The ‘spine’ between the existing and the new building organizes further vertical connections. From the ‘spine’ the façade of the existing Museum building is still visible, which houses – from basement to top – logistics, offices and education around the existing courtyard.

The three ‘white box’ galleries on the second floor of the building contain the gallery for children, and the galleries with the permanent collection. The structural system in these spaces brings indirect light into the galleries, where the semi-translucent façade provides views on the Karlsplatz.

The free flow space on the third floor houses the permanent collection, where the structure organizes the space in a clear north to south orientation. Voids create views into the central staircase, where the south façade provides a generous outlook to the Karlskirche. The museum hall continues in the existing building.

The Vienna room, finally, sits on top of the building. From here, visitors can overlook the very subject of the Wien Museum NEU: the city itself…

Daan Roggeveen, Jaime Fernández Rosa, Adrián Briega Muñoz, Xue Guangjie

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